Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Playing Outdoors

For the first time in quite awhile I played my horn outside in a very large field. What a difference in sound and in my whole being! The sound has a certain purity outside, especially in this location because it had a considerable echo. A sense of freedom came over me. I could feel certain inhibitions fall away as I let my self go into a sea of sound and expression. It was a beautiful day with the green of the trees silhouetting against the rich blue sky. To not feel encased by a small square or rectangular space is very liberating and definitely engages other parts of our bodies and minds.

It reminded me of when I first thought of three diminsional sound. Feeling the sound come from all angles. That was in 1969 on a farm in southern Minnesota. I would aim at a tree about 300 hundred yards away and see if my sound could travel to that distance. It was a great feeling and my band director heard the difference! If you can play full and projected outside, it is no problem indoors, especially if you keep the outdoors mindset, IF they let you!

Here is an excerpt of a piece that was inspired outdoors, with the wind and the pond and myself as one, written in 1996. It's called "By the Pond, In the Wind" from my "Anew at Home" CD.

[For those interested: An MP3 of "By the Pond, In the Wind" is available as a single track from iTunes. The printed music for this piece is included in the unaccompanied trombone solos collection, "You Are Not Alone."]

1 comment:

engir said...

Hi Norman,

Congratulations with your blog!

Your post "Playing Outdoors" has moved a lot in me, as I have just come back from a week on a small island in the Danish archipelago of southern Baltic Sea (actually the day and time you wrote this post, I had a very special Nature experience) - spending most of the time outdoors.

To learn of your projection experiment in 1969 is very inspiring!

The sound excerpt is also very moving, the Oneness very recognizable... (do I sense a longing in there as well?)

All the best,

Ole